Last Saturday’s balmy tropical winds and rains gave way to worry that the hike would be postponed yet again. However, this was not the case. Yesterday morning, I joined thirteen complete strangers with a tour guide and headed to Black Ash Mountain in the Hudson Valley area for a day of invigorating non-urban activity.
Outdoor Bound offers 5 different level hikes and at level three, this hike was just intense enough for an active New Yorker. In this case, active refers to those who get exercise in some capacity or another. Whether it’s jogging, biking, belong to a sports team, go to the gym at least once, twice a week or just pound the pavement in heels, run up subway steps and hail taxis.
But don’t be fooled–the trail is filled with treacherous steep climbs over rock formations and a lot of time is spent watching your step. Slippery leaves, twists, turns and loose rocks may cause severe injury if not properly heeled. Hence, making for cautious but quick movement.
Every two miles or so the trail comes to a clearing and the rustic beauty of the valley makes for a perfect Sunday afternoon. We followed the trail of a notorious British sympathizer named Claudius Smith, then it was on to the Victory Trail which peaked with a beautiful lake for swimming or dreaming.
Unfortunately, I had to contend with the bees. The valley is also known for its honey farms and the bees were cruising along. I mean at every rest point a bee would sniff me out for a good five minutes while I froze in fear of being stung. Which became a nuisance very fast. However, I made it through the day without one annoying sting.
On to Level 4?